China has rejected the long-standing status quo on Taiwan, according to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who also reiterated the belief that Beijing is moving more quickly toward annexing the island.
His comments come after Taiwan projected more pressure on the diplomatic front and Chinese President Xi Jinping won an unprecedented third term.
The four-decade status quo, in which the US only acknowledges Beijing but provides the island with arms for self-defense, according to Blinken, has “helped to ensure there wouldn’t be a fight between the US and China over Taiwan.”
Blinken said at a Bloomberg News event that “what’s changed is this: a determination by the authorities in Beijing that the status quo was no longer acceptable, that they intended to speed up the process by which they would seek reunification.”
To hasten reunification, China has chosen “coercion and making life tough in several ways on Taiwan, but also holding out the prospect, if that didn’t work, of employing force to accomplish their aims,” Blinken added.
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Blinken, who recently made a similar judgment at Stanford University, cited Beijing’s deployment of soldiers and important military exercises in August in response to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.
The senior US official said the current situation has also aided Taiwan’s development, making it the leading worldwide producer of innovative semiconductors in consumer electronics, appliances, and automobiles.
The global economy would suffer grave implications if it were to be interrupted, according to Blinken.
He argued that nations throughout the globe, not only the United States, should be concerned about the pressure on Taiwan.
Beijing has pledged to annex self-governing Taiwan, where the defeated nationalists of the mainland fled in 1949 but where a thriving democracy has since emerged.
Since 1979, when the US moved its recognition from Taipei to Beijing, just 14 countries still recognize Taiwan.
On Wednesday, Joseph Wu, Taiwan’s foreign minister, said that he anticipated Chinese authorities under Xi would exert more effort to eliminate Taipei’s remaining supporters.
Things may become worse diplomatically, Wu added.